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Sewer, Water, Garbage Rates On Rise in Keokuk


Keokuk residents are on track to pay more for some essential services on July 1.

The city council has finalized a $1.00 increase in the monthly garbage rate and has given preliminary approval to boosting water rates by about 8.25%.  The final vote is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, June 19.

The city said the additional revenue is needed to pay for ongoing sewer improvements and for garbage equipment and vehicles.

3rd Ward Alderman Ron Payne said the city should not look to the taxpayers first.  He cast the lone no vote on each increase.

"I don’t think we are doing enough as a committee, as a council to keep the cost down (and) to pass any increases on to the public before we do our job is not justified."

Payne said for example, the city should do more to promote and encourage recycling.

He says if more people are recycling, the city will have to pay less in tipping fees at the local landfill.  He says the money saved could cover what will be collected through the garbage rate hike.

The garbage and sewer increases coincide with a 5% increase in water bills through Keokuk Waterworks to pay for ongoing and future projects.

Finance Committee Chairman Roger Bryant says an average home in Keokuk will pay about $5.50/month more because of the three increases.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.